Memories of Christmas

BY : cyndrarae
Category: X-Men: (All Movies) > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 2629
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the X-Men movies, or any of the characters from them. I make no money from from the writing of this story.

Disclaimer: I do not own anybody or anything from XMen. Just the convoluted story is mine, written for nothing but harmless, profitless fun.

Summary:
Pride ruined the angels,
Their shame them restores;
And the joy that is sweetest
Lurks in stings of remorse.

Discipline story for Scott.

Warnings: Domestic Discipline.

Author’s Notes: The story goes back and forth between past and present. Hope its not too confusing. What else… I don’t know much about Angel’s and Jack Diamond’s backgrounds. Whatever you read here is made up for this story.


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“Blackbird we have a problem!”
Communication streamed through from the mansion to the X-jet. Pilot Ororo Munro switched on the speaker and signaled to the man in the wheelchair. It was Rogue.

“What is it Marie?”
Co-pilot Logan frowned and craned towards the console. They were still about an hour away from Westchester. What could be wrong? The girl sounded quite worried and he didn’t like it one bit. Marie was the closest he’d ever had to a family… a daughter, there was no denying the truth that this girl was responsible for Wolverine’s continued touch with humanity. And despite everything she’d gone through, Rogue had grown to become a very brave, savvy and a relatively happy person. She never panicked. Never.

“oh Logan, we can’t find Bobby anywhere!”
Course except when it was about the ice cube. Logan rolled his eyes towards Charles Xavier, who in turn read the surly man’s expression for what it really was… relief it wasn’t Marie. Besides, Logan knew Professor Xavier could locate the missing boy in no time. Which was accurate. How many times had the powerful telepath been asked to intervene with missing children cases like these? And especially at this time of the year? He’d lost count. Charles looked out the window nearest to him and sighed deeply.

“Holidays.”


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Scott Summers had not opened his eyes in one year and eight months. Not since the accident. Not after he saw with his own furiously blasting eyes, the destruction he was capable of. He didn’t think he could if he tried. So when a strange old man with the resounding voice and a whirring wheelchair asked him to… obviously he refused.
“Don’t worry Scott, the quartz in the glasses will absorb all the energy from your eyes. You wont hurt anyone.”
“No.”
“I’ve worked hard on this invention Scott and am very confident about this, you can trust me.”
Trust my ass.
“No.”
~Scott.~
The boy jumped when he heard a voice that seemed to come from *inside* his own head. He almost blinked his eyes open in his surprise, almost.
~Scott listen to me, it’s the Professor. Its okay son, its okay. Open your eyes.~
Scott bit his lip, but did as he was told. Moments later, he fell to his knees and cried.

***

All day Scott went about looking at things, touching things. He cried, then laughed and cried some more. He went running through the sprawling mansion grounds, whooping and jumping and singing and laughing. So what if everything was red? Ask a blind man… color settings are too small a price to pay for the invaluable gift of sight. When he returned, the professor was behind his study desk concentrating on some paperwork. Scott took his first very good look at his benefactor. He felt an unexplained sense of comfort and… safety in this man’s house. Sure beat the dingy motel rooms and back alleys where he’d found himself most of these last two years. This was the sweetest deal ever and Scott knew he just had to do something to make it last as long as possible.

Besides, he was also extremely grateful to this man and Scott would forever consider himself indebted to him. He just had to return the favor in part, only way he knew how. The young boy adjusted his new glasses and went around the desk where Charles looked up and smiled at him. Before he could greet the boy, Scott fell to his knees in front of him and kissed his crotch.

“Scott!”
The wheelchair spun out of reach. Confusion and surprise marred the chiseled face as the boy looked up. When he spoke, there was a practised drawl to his voice of fifteen… not yet wholly hardened by manhood.
“Isnt this why you brought me here Charles?”
“NO!!”
“Okay, then tell me what you want. I’ll give you whatever you need.”
Utter sadness came over the professor’s face.
“I’m sorry, you’ve misread my intentions son.”
A week’s frustration came to the fore as Scott lost patience and stood up.
“What is all this about then? Why have you brought me into your home? Why did you give me my eyesight back? What the fuck do you want from me?!?”
The professor was quiet for a long moment until Scott started fidgeting.
“I brought you here because I didn’t want to see you waste your life out on the streets Scott. Because with the powers that you have, you could do something much more valuable and worthwhile with your life.”
“oh than whoring you mean?”

Charles sighed. Scott was pushing him. He still didn’t believe someone could take a more than passing interest in him, and that too not even for sex. The distrust and the bitterness of the streetlife he’d known would not go away so soon, Charles knew that. He just had to give the boy more time.

“You’ve had a long day Scott. I think it would be best if you rested, we’ll talk tomorrow.”

Scott didn’t know what the hell was going on here. He wanted to rage and scream, but *something* about the man made him recall the lessons of respect and gratitude he was once taught by parents he vaguely remembered. Still, he was not about to surrender his defiance so soon. Instead of going to his room, Scott charged out of the huge mansion and did not return till next morning.


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Cyclops climbed the last few steps that led to the mansion’s terrace. Then headed straight for the greenhouse. The Professor’s much favored conservatory extended out from the north-west corner of the terrace and spanned about one-fourth of the northern perimeter. But the thick brick walls of the terrace supporting the structure still lay outside its coverage. Walls barely four feet high, but thick enough for a person Scott’s size to perch on… legs dangling above a perilous drop below.

The spot, safely tucked behind the greenhouse, could be easily missed in the dark and especially when most people didn’t even realize it was there. Scott knew, hell he may have been the first person to hide there himself. Flashbacks of the last time he’d been here came to mind, and despite the pained memories of the night, he smiled. Warren had come for him then. Who would’ve thought some day he’d be the one doing the *brat retrieval* huh?

“Bobby?”
Bobby was stunned at the intrusion, but not enough to lose balance and for that his Math teacher was glad.
“Cyclops.”
It was freezing, and Bobby had nothing to do with it. Scott cursed himself inwardly for forgetting his jacket. Sitting out here next to Iceman was the last thing he wanted to do.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Would you go away if I did?”
“Not really no.”
Bobby shrugged. Of course.

Scott climbed up the railing and made his way to where Bobby sat comfortably in t-shirt and jeans, clutching the structure on his sides. Swinging his legs back and forth below him. Almost braced… as if he planned to launch into a swan dive any moment now. Scott sat down next to him, feeling a heady sense of nostalgia come over… rubbed his hands together. So he was here, good. All he had to do now was talk to Bobby, if possible find out what was bothering him, and get him to come back inside. Problem was… he wasn’t any good at talking.

“Cold night huh?”
Bobby gave him *the* look. Scott grinned sheepishly. “Sorry.”
A moment of silence, two, three. Scott racked his brains, thinking of something to say. What would Warren say?

“Nice view.”
Nodded to the blue lake shimmering in the moonlight before them.
“You knew about this spot? I didn’t think anyone else had tried this before.”
It was Scott’s turn to shrug. “I did.”
Bobby smirked. He knew what was coming.
“So now you’re gonna tell me how you know what I’m feeling? Cos you’ve been there yourself?”
“I cant say I know what you’re feeling Bobby. But yeah, I have been here… in this same spot. Hiding, brooding… hoping someone would come looking for me.”
Bobby didn’t have an answer to that. Everyone knew Cyclops was a straight talker. He wasn’t capable of bullshit. He let out a deep breath, making Scott shiver next to him.

“Holidays suck man.”

Scott didn’t answer. Just stared out at the lake. During the silence that followed, Bobby realized how ironic it was for Scott to come out looking for him. It was going to be his first Christmas after… after Jean. From what he’d heard about the two, they’d been together for years and years and now she was dead. Just like it was Bobby’s first Christmas without his family… his parents, his brother. Course they weren’t dead… just not interested. The temperature dropped two degrees more as he sighed again.

“I was… new to the mansion at the time. Ten years ago, thereabouts.”
Scott began, and Bobby turned to look at the pale man beside him. Eyes shielded, no emotion on his face. But somehow he sensed that what his math teacher was about to share was deeply personal.
“I didn’t trust the professor at all. And there was no one else back then. Just me, him and some guy called Warren Worthington. You don’t know him.”
“You were the first student here weren’t you? The first X-Man?”
Scott nodded mildly.

“Well there were no X-Men when I came here first. The whole concept was born much later. At the time, all Charles wanted to do was get me and mutants like me off the streets – give us a safe haven you know. Help us control our gifts, and maybe use it for a greater purpose eventually. But back then you can imagine how hard it was for me to believe. I was… this juvenile delinquent from the streets… no one had ever done anything for me without… without demanding something in return…”
Scott didn’t want to go into details, he quickly moved on.
“So when the professor came out of nowhere to help me… first with the glasses… and then offered me a home, an education… a second chance at life? I didn’t buy it.”
He chuckled morosely, and Bobby was now completely enthralled, though he tried hard not to show it.

“So I rebelled, I was so… crude and vile and loud and pretentious and…”
“teenaged?”
They snickered. Bobby was pleased to see someone he looked up to being so candid with him.
“well yeah… teenaged… hormonal.”
More grinning, then he sobered up.
“Kept testing the limits, and their patience… to see how much they cared… I thought if I pushed hard enough, they’d either stop givin a damn, or drop the act and come clean with what they *really* wanted from me. I thought it was all an act of self-righteousness and underneath they had some really… you know…”

Scott didn’t know how else to put it except… the way he saw it himself back then…
“some sick, perverted scheme they had designed to *torture* me.” And he laughed, and Bobby laughed. Because he was expected to. Inside he was trembling with empathy.
“Took me a long while to accept that it was not an act. That Charles really did want to help us all…”

Silence. Scott recovered.
“And he never stopped giving a damn either.”

Bobby felt a teardrop threatening to embarrass him. He quickly willed it back and looked away just in case. He was being asked to put his faith in strangers when his own family, his flesh and blood did not care anymore. Despite everything that had happened earlier this year, he’d secretly hoped that come Christmas, his folks would want him back. That they’ll all get together for cozy dinners and carols as always and… everything would be the way it was before. Hell he didn’t even believe in God and shit. All he wanted was his family’s acceptance of him and wasn’t this season supposed to be all about that? Family? Forgiveness?

Some, if not all of the kids had gone back to their families for the holidays. Some couldn’t because their mutancies were full-blown and volatile but their folks had still remembered them, sent gifts and even visited. Marie’s mom had begged her to come home, but Marie had refused. She was torn up about it but at least she had the option. She was *asked*. He’d yelled at her for being so damn selfish to turn her family down and she had cried. That’s when he ran away, not wanting to face anyone for the rest of the stupid season.

“This school is for people like you and me Bobby. I cant ask you to forget the family you once had. But you shouldn’t forget the one you have here either.”
The tears couldn’t be stopped anymore. Scott put a comforting arm around the boy and let him grieve silently.
“Marie told me you guys had a fight.”
“Yeah, I am truly sorry about that. I was angry at my folks and…”
Scott hugged him closer. “I understand. She does too.”
“Does she?”
Scott decided now was the time to tell him.
“She refused to go home because she wanted to stay here with us all… especially with you.”

Bobby closed his eyes. Tight.
“Shit.”
“Yeah.”
Bobby made to move suddenly. “I should go back, need to talk to her.”
“Yes you do but take it easy okay. You don’t want us both plunging to our untimely deaths do you?”
Bobby grinned, “Not anymore.”
Scott smiled at that, then got up to walk back across the wall to safe ground. Bobby followed him.

As he jumped down to the terrace floor, Scott grinned almost childishly.
“Wow that was easy.”
Bobby raised an eyebrow, knew he wasn’t talking about the walk on the slim railing.
“I take it you weren’t so easy to convince in your time?”
“Not at all. Stubborn as a mule.”
“Who did the sweet talk? Professor?”
Scott shook his head and started walking back to go inside, Bobby in tow.
“Not if you don’t count the mental prodding. It was the other guy.”
“Worthington?”
Scott nodded. Bobby was intrigued. The very mention of the very impressive name seemed to make Scott go oddly quiet… well, quieter than usual. Bobby had to know.
“So… what did he say?”


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“Nice view.”
Scott was stunned by the deep baritone voice on his right. His hands clamped down on the wall he sat on tightly just as he realized who it was, invading his privacy.
It was the *Angel*. Warren Asshole Worthington the Third. Who the hell did he think he was anyway? Strutting about like he fucking owned the place, scolding Scott in his own home? Well… technically it wasn’t his home but… the professor did want Scott to stay on didn’t he?
Warren had had to take an aerial view of the mansion to understand where *exactly* Scott was hiding. The professor himself had not been able to elaborate much.
“He’s on the terrace behind the greenhouse. How did he get behind the greenhouse?”

***

Earlier, Warren and Scott had gotten off on the wrong foot. Very very wrong foot. It was five days to Christmas and Warren came over to be with his beloved uncle Charlie for the holidays. He did not expect a third person for company, a brat no less. The boy was so skinny and undernourished but developing, not older than fifteen but behaved like a man of thirty. His eyes were sequestered behind rose quartz but Warren could have bet if he could see them, they’d be all aged and cynical just like the rare reluctant smile on his face. A face that seemed tired despite being so very young, almost vulnerable and yet not. And then the boy opened his mouth… yep, fifteen alright.

“Warren there is someone I’d like you to meet.”
Right on cue, the boy came skidding down the staircase making as much ruckus as humanly possible. Charles made the introductions.
“Scott. This is Warren Worthington, my nephew. Warren, this is Scott Summers.”
Warren held out a hand, an amicable smile on his face. In return, Scott fixed him with a piercing look and after a moment’s thought, a small yet devious looking smile appeared on his lips. Ignoring the outstretched hand completely, he uttered his first words in front of the man who would change the course of his life forever.
“So this is the dear *nephew* you missed so much Charles. Now I see why you wouldn’t let me touch you.”
Warren’s expression turned to stone and he withdrew his hand. The insinuation was as cruel as it was vulgar, and it made Warren sick in his gut. Charles tried hard not to let his disillusionment show. It had been three days since the incident and he’d thought they were over this.

“Oh don’t blush so Chuck. We’re all mature consenting adults here! Well, almost.”
And he snickered at his own dirty joke. Scott did not really believe the words coming out from his mouth. He was pushing the envelope again, see how far it would go before the whole sham fell apart.
“So let me guess. Since you cant do it *yourself*, you want this handsome stud of yours to fuck the big Jesus out of me, while you watch. That’s it, isn’t it? Shoulda known you’d have a taste for voyeuristic pleasures.”
Charles closed his eyes. He probably would have said something but before he could, Warren Worthington III had spoken up. His voice was composed, his rage contained… but there, nonetheless.
“Such impeccable manners. He’s just as you described uncle Charlie, and so much more.”
Scott scowled.
“You recognized me, my sexual orientation…”
It was Warren’s turn to smirk, though there was a slight element of self-derision in the gesture.
“Obviously through *experience* I suppose… and you decided to use it to torment your own benefactor. That’s quite a way to show your gratitude young man.”
That hit bull’s eye.
Scott’s entire struggle had been about not being able to understand why he was being showered with so many favors, and how he would be expected to repay them all. The one about *experience* hurt even more.
“As for fucking you, insolent little boys are really not my type you know.”
Scott was seething when he addressed the professor again. He hadn’t spoken directly to Warren even once.
“What big creeps you have for family *grandpa*.”
It was Warren’s turn to lose it. He took one angered step towards the boy, the boy held his ground. And Warren noticed, not many could do that when a man as massive as the Angel towered over them.
“Stop it both of you!”
It was the first time Scott had heard Charles raise his voice, and he turned to look at the professor for the first time that evening. The expression of hurt on his face suddenly made Scott flush with shame, and he lowered his eyes.
Charles sighed.
“Scott you forget, I’m a telepath. You’re projecting so much panic that I cant possibly be angry with you now.”
Ouch, that hurt. The least he deserved was an acknowledgment for his efforts! Scott bit his lip as he was usually wont to do, and didn’t look up.
“And I know you don’t believe these stories you keep making up anymore than I do. Now, could we please just put this behind us and enjoy a quiet dinner?”

***

Dinner lasted an eternity. But soon as he was allowed to, Scott escaped to his room. In the library, Warren was lost in deep thought as Lopez, the butler poured the men some tea.
“What’s the matter nephew?”
Warren looked up at Charles and smiled. “As if you don’t already know.”
“I only know what you broadcast, I don’t trespass you know that.”
“So what am I broadcasting?”
Charles smiled proudly at the young man before him. Worthington came from a highly-respected and elite family. He was of noble blood not just in birth, but also in his actions and way of life. A twenty-seven year old millionaire with his heart in just the right place. Brave and ethical, kind and generous… with an acute sense of right and wrong. That’s why he was the Angel. He was quite tall so the unusual broadness of his torso didn’t appear so out of place. But Xavier was well aware of the great span and strength of the white wings folded demurely behind.

“Concern. For Scott.”
Warren reluctantly nodded. Charles had just told him everything about Scott and he now sort of understood the inner struggles the young boy must be going through.
“It still doesn’t absolve him from the way he behaves with you though. He is downright mean and disrespectful.”
“He is testing me.”
“Well he doesn’t need to, unnecessarily he’s putting himself *and* you through so much pain.”
Xavier was about to start defending Scott again when Warren interrupted.
“Uncle Charlie, what you’re forgetting is that unless he accepts you for what you really are, and accepts his new responsibilities as a mutant… you cannot start his training. How do you expect him to help you in your fight for mutant rights and justice when he wont quit fighting *you*?”
Charles sighed. They argued back and forth, not reaching any conclusions as to how to deal with the disturbed boy.

“Have you told him about your *dream team* idea?” Warren’s eyes were twinkling with mischief. Xavier scowled defensively.
“It was just a random thought!” and Warren laughed.
Xavier had once pondered aloud the concept of building a team of professionally trained mutants. One that could be called upon to intervene in say, human-mutant conflicts, or any situation that may require superhuman powers to prevent the loss of life and property.

“Besides, I haven’t spoken to him much of… of why I need him to join me. I need to win his trust first, before I start dumping my *burdens* onto him. I need him to start taking his own life and worth seriously first, think about his education and health and safety before anything else.”
Warren didn’t think of his uncle’s noble aspirations as burdens, and expressed as much with a scolding pout.
“Perhaps you underestimate him… did you see the way he carries himself? That stiff spine? Something tells me he is not completely broken, despite what he’s been through.”
“I know that nephew.”
“Well then you also know he’s a proud boy uncle. He needs to know he’s not just another case of charity for you.”
Xavier nodded. It was good to have Warren around, he mused.

***

The next day, Scott was in the garage admiring the new black Jaguar. Obviously Worthington’s, he thought sullenly.
Despite the fact that the professor had asked nothing of him, of late Scott had started feeling conscious of himself as a freeloader. He couldn’t possibly pay for his boarding and lodging at the mansion but he could at least help out with myriad chores round the place. So he helped the stable boys brush the horses down and was developing a passion for the animals doing so. He quickly picked up automobile skills from the mechanics that worked in the garage, and enjoyed peering into engines all day long. Mostly he picked places where he was least likely to run into the professor.
Xavier was well aware of this new change in the boy and his heart swelled with hope and pride. That day he decided to take his nephew’s advice and try reaching out to the boy again. All his previous attempts had been thwarted one way or another. Perhaps he would find more common ground with him in the garage, where Scott felt infinitely more comfortable.

“You like it?”
Scott started, then turned to face the professor.
“Its okay.”
“Do you have a license?”
Scott shook his head. “But I know how to drive.”
Xavier smiled, maybe the reaching out could wait.
“You could take it out for a spin round the mansion if you want. Lopez could go with you.”
Scott’s face lit up considerably. Just then, Warren came strolling down the stairs behind Xavier and Scott realized what a gleaming chance of payback this was.
“Are you sure? I can take *this* car out for a spin?”
Warren’s face visibly fell. His car! He was about to protest, but then he heard the professor allow it, so he relented. Scott grinned impishly at the winged man and got into the driver’s seat. Lopez left Charles’ side and joined him in the passenger seat. They took off. Warren couldn’t see the glint in Scott’s eye, but he sure saw the big smirk on his face.

***

“He did it on purpose.”
Worthington was so angry, his face was red and Scott could swear he saw smoke bellowing out his ears.
“No I didn’t! The tree came out of nowhere!”
Charles rubbed his eyes with tired hands.
“Scott, trees are not usually known to walk out into the middle of roads.”
“He did it on purpose!”
Lopez stood quietly on the side and Xavier turned to him. “What happened Joe?”
“Sir, I wasn’t with Master Scott at the time.”
Warren butted in. “And why is that Lopez?”
“Sir I thought we were returning from the ride. But the moment I got out of the car outside the garage, Master Scott drove off again.”
“With deliberate intent to *trash* my car!”
“And why would I do that?” Scott asked innocently. But the jibe wasn’t lost on Warren.
“You little… I swear if I was your guardian I would…”
“YOU WOULD WHAT?”
Scott was furious, as much as the other person.
“Enough! Warren you will control your temper. Scott go to your room.”
“You cant…”
“Do what the professor says Summers or you’ll be very sorry!”
Charles sent a mental warning to Warren and to Scott. The boy swore audibly and went stamping out the garage.

***

All this time, Scott noticed how Warren’s presence in the mansion had made the professor seem happier than usual. He saw them dining and lunching together, playing chess or taking long walks by the mansion lake… and all the while they would be talking and smiling, sometimes laughing. His gut clenched, there were knots in his throat and he felt unsettled like he’d never felt in the mansion before. He realized he was jealous. And repentant. Jealous that the professor could talk so openly with Warren, share with him something so… casual and yet… so comforting. He didn’t remember the last time he’d made a proper conversation with *anybody*. And repentant that he’d himself rebuked all of the professor’s attempts to reach him.
Could it really be that simple? Could such a prosperous man who could have anything he wanted in the world… really just want to *talk* to Scott? To this half-blind uneducated whore? Without expecting anything in return?

Then there was the whole oh-so-righteous altruism thing going on… free education? a palatial home for nothing? What kind of a man picks up a boy from the streets and does all this for him? Few days ago, the professor had called Scott into his study and asked him about the last time he’d attended school. Scott had felt irrationally humiliated by the simple query and had uttered something not very polite. Actually, not polite at all. Scott cringed at the memory. There was a whole list of things he should be apologizing for, but somehow his distrust… and his impudence wouldn’t let him.
One moment he felt helpless and ready to give in, the next he’d be angry again. Swinging between hope and suspicion, fear and gratitude… the boy was a wreck. He didn’t know what to do.

The professor and the angel were not ignorant of the boy they now felt responsible for. Warren would still much rather not have anything to do with him personally, and he made that clear enough to Xavier. But he never disagreed when Charles insisted they wait for Scott to join them for meals at the family table. The day before Christmas, Scott came fifteen minutes late for breakfast, and forty minutes late for lunch. He didn’t turn up for dinner at all.

Warren lost his patience. “Where is he?”
“I’ve asked him to join us, he will…”
“Just tell me where he is uncle, I’ll go get him.”
Xavier sighed and concentrated. His eyes were closed but a sudden frown on his temple alerted Warren something was off.
“What is it?”
“He’s on the terrace… I think, behind the greenhouse. How did he get behind the greenhouse?”

***

And so here he was, standing beside the slim railing upon which sat the missing child. Legs dangling below, completely ignorant of the danger he’d put himself in.
“Nice view.”
Scott was so stunned, he dropped the cigarette he was smoking and it fell sixty feet below to the moist grass below. The boy was so pale, the hollow of his cheeks and veins in his neck more pronounced in the freezing cold. Warren tried to imagine what the boy must have gone through since his parents died, when he was blind too. He realized he had no idea what they were dealing with here, and that mellowed his wrath.
“What the *fuck* are you doing here?”
And the wrath returned full force.
“Well, considering the professor wouldn’t let me have a *morsel* to eat until you get your ass down to the dinner table…”
“Tough. I aint hungry.”
Warren blew out a cloud of steam and Scott shivered. There was something creepy about this man being all cool and calm when he actually ought to be screaming his head off. That he could handle, this was unnerving. The big man scaled the wall, and walked over to the far end where Scott sat. He plomped right down beside the boy, finding the position not too comfortable for his wings but hey, if he fell he could always fly.
“Charles told me about your parents.”
Scott stiffened. “What?”
Warren added softly. “That they died in a car accident on Christmas eve, that you were in the car with them. And your eyes mutated as a result of a head injury.”
Scott was trembling with rage. The prof had no right to talk about him behind his back.
“And that’s why you’re sitting out here…”
No response.
“…wasting a perfectly nice hot dinner.”

“You’re a bastard you know that.”
“Hey don’t take it out on me! Way I see it, you should be glad you got to be with your folks for *thirteen* years. I never knew my folks at all.”
Scott shrugged but when he still didn’t respond, Warren continued.
“I spent my childhood running and hiding, escaping assassination attempts on a monthly basis by greedy relatives wanting to take over the Worthington estate. I didn’t know what Christmas was, except the textbook definition of course… until Charles showed me.”
Scott listened to every word and feigned complete disinterest. He looked away, lit another cigarette. Much to his chagrin, Warren casually snatched that away too, helping himself to a long drag.
“I spend holidays here with uncle Charlie because I have no other place to be. Way I see it, we’re not much different in that respect.”
This was getting too close for comfort. But Scott was trapped by Warren’s frame and couldn’t get past to leave.
“Cut the sympathetic bullshit, you don’t know *anything* about me.”
Warren looked away, took another drag… and the voice hardened.
“True. Cant say I’m much interested either.” Then he threw the cigarette away.

“Listen, brat.”
Scott gritted his teeth but something in the tone warned him to keep his trap shut.
“I don’t know what your problem is and I don’t really care. But I know Xavier does care a lot for you. He wants to give you a new life… a *better* life and whether you want it or not, he’s gonna keep trying till his dying day.”
At some level Scott knew this already, and it pained him even more. He struggled against the older man to let him through.
“No! Look at me Summers. You’ve been *hurting* him.” Scott winced at that. “And he’s been forgiving you and forgiving you.” The kid didn’t know where to look.
“But not anymore. From *this* moment, you’re going to start behaving yourself. You will listen when he speaks, you will do as he says. While I’m here *and* after I’m gone. I leave next week but I will keep checking in with Lopez twice a day.”
Scott got angry at that. Who the hell did he think he was?
“Fuck off moron. You don’t tell me what to do!”
Warren continued like he’d said nothing.
“And if I hear of a single transgression on your part…”
“I’m not taking orders from you, you bastard! Let me go!”
Warren gripped him by the shoulders to keep him from moving too precariously.
“ONE WRONG MOVE Summers, I will personally fly down here to make you regret it. And you *will* regret it. Is that clear?”

Scott looked up into the Angel’s face, fully expecting a grotesque expression of rage, disgust, hatred… he found none. And it made him cease his struggling.
“IS THAT CLEAR?”
It was a direct order, firm, strict and unmoving. And still no anger…?
“Summers I’m talking to you.”
“Ye-yeah.”
The strong hands gripping him softened, as did the voice. Scott was overwhelmed with shock and a really strange sense of… relief?
“Good. Are you hungry now?”
Instinct caused him to start to shake his head, when Worthington’s brows rose alarmingly high. The negative quickly turned to positive and Warren smiled.
“Great. Lets eat!”
He got up and scaled down the railing. Stood by the side and waited for Scott to do the same.


***** ***** *****
***** ***** *****
***** ***** *****


Bobby did not press when Cyclops left his questions unanswered. He tried to keep up as his teacher walked with hurried steps to get back into the mansion’s warmth.
“She’s in the hall, helping with the decorations. Not that she’s actually helping.”
Bobby pictured his beautiful girlfriend with a tendency to get hopelessly lost in her own thoughts, and smiled. Scott turned towards the Professor’s study. Xavier must be back, Bobby figured, and headed for the hall.
~Scott.~
~Yes, I’m coming.~

***

Later that evening, all the resident students and teachers of Xavier’s School for the Gifted gathered in the hall for Christmas eve celebrations. The school so often plagued with one mishap or another, would grab at every single opportunity to throw a party. Ororo wasn’t Christian but she would be the first to organize these dos where the children could for once have a normal fun-filled evening. Socialise, feel the love of their colleagues and teachers, and fellow mutants. Music was loud, there was punch galore and the decorations were bright and uplifting.
Charles Xavier looked around the hall at his colleagues and children, and felt himself blessed. Even Logan seemed to be enjoying himself. Apparently there was a thing developing between him and Ororo and the professor approved wholeheartedly. Storm’s composure and stability would perfectly balance his aggression and restlessness.
As his eyes further roved the room, he spotted a lone figure standing by the farthest window, arms folded, looking out. Xavier sighed, in all the commotion of the festive season, he’d forgotten to check on how Scott was doing. This being his first Christmas without Jean in what… nine years? The figure looked so lost and forlorn… completely oblivious to the crowd he stood among. Charles was about to set his wheels in motion when he saw Marie and Bobby heading over to the same person. He relaxed, and turned to Kitty who was waiting for her chance to kiss her favorite teacher a Merry Christmas.

“Scott?”
He’d suggested the senior grade could refer to him as Scott and not Mr. Summers outside class. They were after all much more involved with the X-Men as well, which meant they were teammates as well. Scott turned to Marie just as she got up on tiptoes to hug him.
“Thank you.”
Scott kissed her forehead and smiled. “What for?”
She smiled shyly, nodding ever so subtly towards her boyfriend who pretended like he was miffed by the reference. Scott brushed it off casually.
“Don’t worry about it.”
“So, how did you find me anyway?”
“Thank your girlfriend, she tracked down the professor and he located you through the Cerebro.”
Embarassed, Bobby looked towards the man in the wheelchair. “Ouch.”
Scott consoled him.
“Hey don’t worry. The professor will never judge you, and he will always understand.”
“Umm yeah but, I think I owe him an apology for causing all this trouble.”
Scott smiled, the boy had a hyperactive conscience.
“If you want. But really, more than an apology, you should just go talk to him. Tell him whatever you have… or had on your mind. He would really like that.”

Marie and Bobby looked back and forth between the professor and Scott. They had heard him say before that the professor was the most approachable adult in the school, probably more than even Storm and she was great with the kids. But they hadn’t tried it for themselves. Bobby dug his hands into his pockets and tilted his head.
“You sure he wont be like… angry or something?”
Scott laughed at that. And the kids were confused.
“Sorry, its just… I don’t think the professor is even *capable* of anger when it comes to his students.”
Marie was astonished. “Really?”
“Really.”
“That’s hard to believe. Wasn’t he angry when John… when St. John left?”
Scott knew this was a sensitive discussion but really, the answer was simple.
“Not exactly with John, Marie. He was upset with Magneto, never John. He understands his motivations more than you and I ever could.”
The kids fell silent. The loss of their friend Pyro to the other side still ached in their minds. Bobby decided he needed to lighten up the moment.
“Hey how about when Jubilee and Lance and the others stole the Blackbird and went for a spin in the middle of the night?”
Scott chuckled at the memory, “Nah. A little concerned yes, but angry? Nope.”
“Oh come on, are you saying there hasn’t been a single student in the history of this school who’s made the professor like… lose it?”
That provoked a moment of deep thought.
“Well??”
“I guess, there was one…”
The teenaged couple demanded in unison. “WHO?”


***** ***** *****
***** ***** *****
***** ***** *****

Scott sat through the evening in obstinate silence while the creep chattered away like a fucking parakeet with a set of wings to match. He didn’t give a damn what went on top – star or a fucking angel. He was not interested in after-dinner toasts if he wasn’t allowed any alcohol. He only wanted to go back to his room and sulk.
Even when he was back in his room, he couldn’t relax. Scott paced back and forth shaking from head to toe… not from the freezing temperatures outside, but from sheer vehemence. His fists clenched on his sides, mouth uttering endless strings of profanities for the man who’d just made him feel like a…a despicable four-year old.
~How dare he? How fucking dare he?~

And he cursed himself for buckling under so easily. What the hell went through him back then? He couldn’t place the source of the sudden rush of emotions he’d felt when Warren had held him so tightly. All he knew was the emotions had made him weak, lose face… lose his meager dignity in front of the big bully and he couldn’t accept that. He almost hyperventilated.

Trapped in a maelstrom of emotions, the teenager was barely thinking rationally, and the professor sensed it.
“Warren, what did you do to the boy?”
“Gave him a warning.”
~In other words, read him his *rights*.~
Charles was not pleased. “You shouldn’t have provoked him so.”
“It all depends on how he takes it uncle Charlie. After tonight its either this way or the other. In any case, we’ll finally know if he’s really ready for the responsibilities you plan for him or not.”
Charles had to agree with that diagnosis. Tomorrow, he would most definitely try talking to Scott again. Surely a week of time and space was enough for the boy.
“Besides, I think he needs us to lay the rules down for him.”
Charles raised his eyebrows at that and Warren explained.
“He’s been on his own too long uncle. He doesn’t realize it right now, but I think on some level, he was actually *relieved* when I was up there telling him what’s what. He knows now that we are not going to give up on him. No matter what he does, or how badly he misbehaves… he is not going to be turned out of this house.”
“But…?”
Warren picked up the cue.
“But… at the same time, he *will* be punished if he misbehaves. You need to do that for him uncle Charlie. Way you did it for me.”
Xavier drew a deep breath.
“His situation is so much more complicated Warren. You were just a scared… spoiled brat.”
At which Warren pulled a face.
“But Scott is… well, he’s fragile. I would be running the risk of bad associations.”
Warren nodded. “I know, and I agree it’s a risk. But… something about the boy… I think he’s stronger than he looks.”
“You think so?”
“Yes, and I know you do too. Or you wouldn’t have chosen him, right?”
Charles smiled, that secret smile of his, and lowered his head. Warren had to ask.
“What?”
A chuckle followed. “Nothing”
“What? What did I say?”
Charles was visibly amused by something.
“Just… I can see you’ve really grown up. Quite a pleasant surprise how well you understand a child’s psychology, considering your own history.”
And Warren shrugged shyly. “I learnt from the best.”
A moment of tenderness passed before Warren composed himself.
“Ahem, anyway. We’ll know for sure starting tomorrow. Whats the worst he could do? Trash my new BMW? I can deal with that.”
Warren had a big smile on his face, everything was under control.

***

On the morning of Christmas, Charles woke up and like every morning this last week, the first thing he did was reach out mentally to check on the young boy sleeping upstairs. He didn’t find him.

~Warren! Warren!~
Warren jumped awake with a start as Charles burst into his room. Before he could get the words ‘what is it’ out of his mouth, he read the answer in the professor’s troubled thoughts.
~Shit.~
“Professor!!”
Lopez came running in as well. Warren got the chance to ask him.
“Whats wrong Lopez?”
“Professor your study cabinet seems to have been broken open. I believe you keep some cash in there?”
And Scott knew that.
~Sixteen hundred dollars I think.~
Warren swallowed.
~Oh shit.~

***

Scott rushed into the rotting old apartment building and went practically flying up the stairs to the fourth floor. Reaching there he thumped the first door to his right with all his strength.
“Who the fuck is it?”
“Victor its me, Scott.”
Locks rattled and the door opened to reveal a guy in his late teens, dressed in tight leather pants and dirty netted vest. His hair was spiked and his eyes were kohled, he’d obviously just returned from a job.
“Shit Scottie!”
He let the runaway boy in and closed the door behind him. Then he turned and smiled wickedly.
“Man, you clean up good!”
Scott didn’t have time for pleasantries.
“I came to get you and I’m loaded Vic, let’s get outta here!”
“Where are we going?”
Scott was breathless with panic. “Don’t know. All I know is we gotta get out of New York fast as possible. Away from Jack, away from… from all the fucking wierdos out there.”
“Cool shades” and then Victor gasped. “You can see?!?”
And the guilt came rushing forth, threatening to break him down. He yelled in frustration.
“Now is not the time Victor! I thought you said you were tired of being slapped around and gangraped for nothin.”
“I am.”
Scott shook him by the shoulders. “Then lets go!”
Victor stilled for about a second. Then rushed to a room inside.
“Gimme five.”
Scott looked around, “You got something to drink?”

While Victor packed, Scott downed a shot of vodka and waited. Victor was one of the boys working for Jack Diamond, just like Scott. Diamond was not a small-time pimp, he controlled the entire downtown ring of hustlers and hookers and also held tremendous clout with the mafia. He was ruthless, abusive and unforgiving. Vic was the only friend Scott had ever had on the streets. Scott had lived in his apartment, worn his clothes. Hardly a role model, he thought grimly. But now that he had a chance to escape, he wanted to take him along… to freedom.

Three blocks from the apartment, they stopped running but still kept looking around cautiously. Scott found a lone black Infiniti parked illegally and broke in. He hotwired the vehicle and they were off in a flash. Victor suggested they take the first freeway on the right and then head for the nearest highway.
“Good idea.”
Fifteen minutes later, they were just about to climb onto the highway and the fear of getting caught was slowly receding. Scott’s gut was just about settling when he looked at Victor on his side. He seemed anxious.
“What’s up man?”
“Scott I need to let cuz Tony know that I’m leavin. He works in the meatwarehouse just round the corner. Can we stop there first?”
Scott wasn’t so sure. “Vic its not safe right now. We’ll call and let him know once we get someplace cool.”
“Please Scott, this is important to me. I cant go without telling him.”
Scott grimaced, but turned right towards the warehouse.

***

It had been three minutes and nine seconds since Charles Xavier had entered Cerebro. Warren paced back and forth, his huge wings fluttering restlessly behind him. This was his fault, he pushed too far. This was his fault.
~No it was *not*, Warren. You only had the boy’s best intentions at heart. Now shut up and let me concentrate.~
Admonished, Warren tried to calm his thoughts. Another three minutes later, the doors slid open and Warren ran in towards the core. The professor took off the headgear and turned to him, the urgency unmistakable in his limpid eyes.
“Angel, you have to hurry.”
He did not need to be told twice.

***

In hindsight, Scott knew it was the exhaustion.
He’d spent most of the night restless and struggling with his own self. How much forethought had he invested in the decision… he would never be able to recall. Just before break of dawn, he’d packed whatever little stuff he owned and slipped out of his room. He knew he wouldn’t get very far without resources. He was tempted to take Worthington’s new car again, but decided not to do anything that might make the mansioners come after him. Least of all Warren. But there was one thing he needed desperately – money.
Another inner struggle followed after which the boy decided he would just have to borrow the money. He would send it back soon as he could afford to.
Breaking open the cabinet was child’s play. He picked up all the notes he could see, didn’t even count them, stuffed them clumsily into his small gym bag and sneaked out. At the gate, he’d turned to gaze at what had been his home for the past week. But never would again. A sense of foreboding washed over him… he was losing something extremely precious and he couldn’t even grasp what. In the end, he just shut the screaming inside his head off and ran… hard as he could.

So here they were, pulling into the warehouse parking lot that was completely deserted. Probably natural for six in the morning and that too on Christmas day. Scott killed the engine and rested. He was so tired.
“Vic its Christmas, are you sure Tony is working this shift?”

“Vic. Vic?”
A sob escaped the boy. Scott peered at the boy closely, it was difficult for him to see fine details in the dark.
“I’m sorry Scottie. I’m so sorry.”
His heart slammed into his chest, his eyes widened with fear.
“No…”
Harsh gleam of headlights… came flashing from his left, right and ahead. Victor opened his door and ran off. Scott panicked as the engines revved all around him. Suddenly the car on his left starting accelerating towards him. For seconds he tried to hotwire the engine again, but he wouldn’t have made it on time. At the nth moment, Scott exited the car and dived towards the empty space behind just as Jack Diamond’s car came crashing into the driver’s side. Scott fell amid splinters of glass and metal and the stench of leaking gasoline.
The men got out and approached the fallen figure. Through the bright lights Scott could see nothing. He was as good as blind again.
“So…”
A singular voice… cold, calculating… taunting. Scott would recognize that voice anywhere… Jack Diamond. His nemesis.

“Vic tells us you can see again?”
Scott didn’t reply, only crawled away until he hit the wall behind. He was trapped.
“You know they used to pay double for a naturally blindfolded pretty little slut like you.”
Cruel laughter echoed through the empty parking lot. And here Scott’d been repeatedly told he was only worth half the price because of his handicap. But he didn’t have time or the inclination to be pissed off right now. The men were closer, two had guns, two wielded knives while Jack held his usual smoking pipe. That didn’t fool Scott… he knew the man never left home unarmed. With a sinking heart, Scott realized there was no escape left. His thoughts went back to the only kindness he could remember… professor Xavier, the mansion… Warren.
“Think I’ll just have to make things the way they were again, wouldn’t I?”
Wind blew his bangs into his face as something zoomed past Scott through the air. Next time he blinked, he saw a massive figure dressed in black, with huge wings the color of pure white towering right over him.

How can an all-American bonafide hero possibly make his entry without a line?
“Think again.”

The fight lasted hardly a few minutes. The goons were knocked unconscious or disabled, one lay dying of a fatal wound from his own knife. But Jack Diamond was not about to give in so easily. While Angel dealt with the four men, Jack grabbed Scott from behind, pressing a knife into his throat.
“You belong to me, *bitch*! And you’re coming back with me.”

Scott’s rage was in full flare by now. There was no fear, no regret… no childlike innocence to defend anymore. With superhuman strength, he drew a bony elbow forward then plunged it back into his attacker’s gut at the same time prying the knife-wielding arm away from himself. Using the same arm as lever, he spun around and plunged a knee into the same spot… Diamond doubled over. Scott kicked him in his groin, then his shins until he fell to the ground writhing in pain.
“Fucking bastard!”
He kicked him again.
“I am not a bitch, and I am not blind! I was never blind!”
Kicked him again, Jack groaned in agony.
“You don’t deserve to live asshole.”
Scott was furious, and cold, and numb… as he raised a hand to rip the glasses off his face.
“No Scott, wait!”
He heard Warren approach him from behind.
“Think about what you’re going to do. Do you really want to do this?”
Warren tentatively placed a hand on the convulsing shoulder before him. He whispered so only Scott could hear him.
“Do you really want the blood of a human on your hands?”
Scott gasped painfully. “He’s not human.”
The hand on his shoulder pressed in. “Scott…”

A moment passed in utter silence as the pimp waited for the verdict, and Scott tried to calm himself down. Warren was right, his conscience was the reason he hadn’t gone on a killing spree earlier. And he couldn’t possibly start now. The divine presence behind him closed in as another hand was placed on his other shoulder.
“Its okay son, its okay, let go.”
Scott let go of the sports strap behind his head holding the red lenses in place.
“Wanna go home now?”
Automatically, the boy nodded. Yes, home sounded good. Very good.
The hands on his shoulders shifted to slide under his armpits, then strong arms gripped him across his waist. The restraint was not uncomfortable and unintendedly, Scott let his head fall back on Warren. The next thing he knew, Jack Diamond’s pathetic form was diminishing out of his sight and Scott himself was rising against gravity. Fast, then faster. The wind was freezing and stung his eyes. Sometime during the flight when he’d gotten over the heights and the sights below, Scott truly realized whose arms held him… who his savior was.
“Warren?”
“Yeah Scott.”
No anger. Not in this voice.

***

Xavier’s silence… Xavier’s melancholy hung heavy and painfully throughout the library… heck the whole mansion had turned into a graveyard. He sat with his face turned away, his back towards Scott. Scott could not recall any other time he’d done so. The boy did not feel tired anymore, and no longer was he cold from the flight or numb from what had transpired back at the warehouse. He felt each rapid breath that left his body acutely, heard every jittery beat of his heart… all his senses on fire. This was bad.

~Be cool. You can handle this.~
He swallowed over and over. How bad could it be? He’s never been angry before, he will understand. He will… will he forgive me? I stole from him, no I *borrowed* from him, there’s a difference… but he didn’t *lend*? Shit this is not helping. Be cool, he’s a cool guy, he’s not going to… is he going to turn me in? Oh fuck.

“No I’m not going to turn you in, Scott.”
The boy jumped, backed up two steps as if that could prevent the professor from hearing his thoughts.
“Although you did steal…”
The professor turned to face him, and Scott wished he hadn’t. The medley of expressions on the usually expressionless face was thoroughly disconcerting. There was relief and there was pain, sadness… anger… and disappointment. Scott felt the weight of the world crushing his heart.
“…do you really think I care about the money?”
Xavier gave him a long while to think of a response but the boy did not use it. Xavier shook his head, his body language was more expressive than usual.
“When I first saw you I thought I’d finally found what I was looking for… someone with unbelievable courage, and character… and conscience…”
He rubbed his brow as if it ached. Scott did not reply. There was nothing to say, as far as he was concerned. Xavier sighed, a distraught man.
“You were right, nephew.”
Warren stood leaning against his desk, studying Scott and his defiant stance intently. Scott risked a glance at the man, still… no anger.
“Take him away.”
And the wheelchair turned to face out the window. The boy fumbled.

“That’s it?”
The professor did not reply, adding to his trepidation. Was he being turned out, back on the streets where Diamon and his clan was waiting to kill him? Was he being sent to jail for stealing? Why wont the Professor talk to him? He always talked to Warren so much, like all the fucking time? Why not him? Then Warren was by his side taking him by the elbow. Scott shirked away.
“No.”
He had changed his mind… there must be *something* he could say, anything… he should be allowed to apologize… given a second chance. Oh but you had so many chances Scott, he reminded himself. So many, and he blew them all.
“Come with me Scott, we need to talk.”
That sounded ominous.
“No, I’ll talk to *him*.”
He so did not want the birdman around right now.
Warren grabbed him by his shoulders and turned Scott around to face him. There was dangerous determination in his eyes.
“Scott, do you remember what I said to you on the terrace? Do you?”
Scott hyperventilated as Warren’s words came rushing back to him… you will regret it… fear turned to panic, panic to frustration and then full-blown rebellion. The red of his quartz glasses glowed heatedly.
“Let me go!”
Warren started dragging the boy by his arm out the library.
“Professor Xavier please! Let go, you bastard!”
Scott put up a decent fight until Warren lunged him by his middle and threw him over his shoulder. The world swung upside down and for two seconds Scott was too stunned to react. Then he started struggling but could not affect the older and bigger man’s gait towards… as he noticed eventually… his own room.
“Professor please stop him!! Please Professor!!”
Xavier sat unmoving as stone… he did not witness Warren carrying the boy out of the library.
Scott did not know what was going to happen. He’d been in bad situations before and experience warned him he was in for either a really bad beating or a really rough fuck. He didn’t like his options and frantically screamed at the top of his lungs for the professor. When that went unanswered he tried Lopez, then the stable guys… no one came.

“Stop Warren… please…!”
Warren stepped into Scott’s room and closed the door behind him. Then he walked over to the bed and dumped the boy on it. Scott gasped in fear and tried to writhe away but Warren was too fast for him. He gripped the little wrists in his hands and forced the boy to his knees on the bed.
“No! Please don’t rape me I beg you!”
Warren’s face melted into the most devastating astonishment Scott had ever seen. Before he knew it, he was being pressed into the broad chest and strong arms wrapped around him in what could only be a fiercely protective gesture.
“Shhh… I am NOT going to RAPE you CHILD!”
Sharp moans of anguish and disbelief escaped as Scott fought to get free. But Warren didn’t let go, only continued shushing him, stroking his hair, rubbing his quivering back. The huge wings enfolded the boy as well, though they didn’t connect. Scott gradually stopped struggling and stood stark still, not knowing what to do, what to expect. Warren held him with such fierceness it scared him, and yet comforted him in a vague way. Eventually, Scott found himself clinging to Warren as much as Warren was holding him. When the trembling in the frail body finally receded, Warren began.

“Scott, I have to do this. This is going to hurt, a lot… but its necessary.”
The trembling escalated again.
“I am going to sit down okay?”
Warren sat on the bed, his feet set sturdily apart on the floor. The voice grew gentler, if that were at all possible.
“Scott, I’m going to put you across my knees now.”
“No… no! NO!”
Scott tried to get away, scramble out of reach but there was simply no room for escape. Before he knew it, he had been pushed down over Warren’s lap like he was no more than a ragged little doll. He was tugged and pulled at, and adjusted so his upper torso rested on one side of Warren on the bed, with his butt on the massive lap… legs flailing behind.
“You cant do this!”

“I can and I will. We are *not* giving up on you Scott, *ever*.”
Warren grabbed hold of the oversize jeans on the thin frame and yanked them down. The boxers came down along with it. Scott couldn’t breathe. He was speechless with humiliation. Reflexively, he raised a hand to his glasses… as his last resort. But Warren caught his wrists again and pulled them behind his back together. There simply was no fighting the guy, and now Scott was completely helpless with his bare butt at the mercy of the big creep. The creep who’d just saved his life. The creep who’d just crushed him in a firm embrace, something no one had in two years. The creep who just told him he was not giving up on Scott, ever.

“Warren no, please no…”
Scott was not yelling indignantly anymore. He was pleading. Warren hardened his heart, and the first swat landed squarely in the middle of Scott’s round ass.
“Ah!”
Scott yelped, more in shock than anything else. Before the sting could register, the hand came down again. This time Scott felt the pain, and renewed his struggles.
Warren had pulled the coverings down just to the top of his thighs and did not intend to mitigate the impact by spreading it beyond Scott’s ass. With one hand he restrained the boy’s wrists while holding the small of his back down as well. With the other, he set up a methodical pattern of spanks round the exposed area. The smacks were utterly clinical and meant serious business as Scott felt his skin burn up horrendously on every thwack. Round and round it went… the searing sensation covering uniformly every inch of his throbbing butt. Scott writhed and squirmed and kicked out wildly but to no avail.

One thing was painfully obvious, this was no game nor a perversion… this was *punishment* pure and simple. And a painful one at that. Scott reverted to a place deep inside himself… eyes clenched tight shut, every muscle in his body stretched taut. He would fight this… with silence and… and dignity. He wouldn’t let Warren break him down if that’s what he was trying to do. So far there had been no tears.
Warren kept smacking his buttocks in the same pattern a while longer and Scott bravely bit down groans of pain. But then he pictured his situation from a third person’s perspective… a fifteen year old with his bare butt draped over some guy who was spanking him like a little child! He’d been naked and in worse positions with complete strangers before but this was entirely something else. A fresh wave of embarrassment and shame hit him and his resolve crumbled. He kicked some more.
“War…Warren stop… stop…”

“no more! Please no more!”
Warren had only just started.

Retribution on so many levels. The hand that fell was hard and unforgiving and ensured Scott couldn’t possibly distract himself with any other thought but that of the pain in his bottom. And the disgrace that gnawed at his mind and heart. What had he done to deserve this? What?
Warren had replaced the methodical spanking with random swats. This was so much worse, Scott couldn’t know when and where the next slap would land and it made each time all the more painful. Through some irrational logic, he managed to trace his current troubles back to the car…
“I’m sorry about the car please! I’ll pay for it I swear!”
Warren halted at that.
“Scott… Do you really think this is about the car?”
Scott was too busy catching his breath, and even if he wasn’t… he didn’t think he wanted to answer the question. Warren’s hand fell again. Thrice at exactly the same spot. Scott let out a hoarse scream.
“No!.. no its not.” Scott gasped in pain.
“Then what is it about?”
Warren’s hand rested on his throbbing butt while he trembled from head to toe. At least he wasn’t being spanked anymore.
“What is it about Scott?”
“I… I…”
Was that pride blocking his voice? Or did he really not know what this was about?
“What, Scott?”
The hand gently rubbed his sore cheeks as if encouraging him to talk. Scott wanted to howl. Why did Warren have to torture him with words as well?
“I… I… stole…”
The hand came down twice in succession as if in approval, making the boy cry out again.
“And…?”
Scott sobbed dryly, writhed in mental agony. “I… I don’t know… I don’t know…”
The hand fell…
“Think Scott…”
…and again…
“… think about what the professor said…”
…again…
“…of courage… and character… and conscience…”
Enough had been said, Warren fell quiet then and just continued to blister the sore backside with a steady aching hand.

It was as if a dam had broken. Scott felt hot liquid trickle down from underneath his glasses and into his mouth. He hadn’t cried in two years, not since his parents died. And now he couldnt stop. All the pain, all the helplessness, all the humiliation, the darkness and the loneliness of two years let loose in a fierce torrent he had no control over. Thoughts crashed over and over so loud they drowned out every other sound in the universe…

Courage… the kind that was willing to end a pimp’s life but couldn’t dare look the professor in the eye? The kind that suffered through a world of torment in silence but couldn’t speak his heart to the only man who’d ever wanted to really listen?
Character… Scott almost laughed through the haze of pain on that one. Warren could have just as easily lectured him about *all* the things they’d done for this boy who had nothing… who *was* nothing. But he hadn’t… and wouldn’t… that was character. The professor had quietly endured the vile accusations he threw into their faces about his relationship with his nephew… his *nephew* for God’s sake! But not once did he raise his voice or his hand on the boy… not even now when he’d disappointed him so immensely. *That* was character.
And conscience? Scott surrendered and quit his struggling entirely. What kind of a conscientious man breaks in and steals from his *only* wellwisher and benefactor? The man not only gave him a home, he gave him his eyesight back for Christsake. How long must it take a conscience to forget the invaluable debt its under? How does a conscience permit one to destroy another’s property without skipping a beat?

He remembered the vulgar insults thrown at men who did not deserve such disrespect. On the contrary, they were good people only trying to help him. The age difference alone warranted that Scott treat them courteously but instead what had he done?
Scott cried and cried, yelping pitifully on every spank.
God knows he hadn’t slept a single night peacefully ever since he came to the mansion because he simply could not understand the professor’s self-less intentions and actions. No fucking way! It had all been too good to be true… and he’d spent every waking moment dreading the day it would all end as it most definitely would. He was convinced to death it wouldn’t last. And that’s why he’d been pushing and pushing and pushing… so he could walk away with the illusion that for once, he’d conquered his own sad destiny. For once, he hadn’t been knocked to the ground from behind. But he had not once imagined his behind would be victimized by an archangel instead.

The spanking continued unabated. The focus areas kept shifting, first the crest, then the undercurve and back to the middle until it was all a consistent shade of hot crimson. The blows weren’t as hard, but they still rained with the same precision and timing as to cause the poor boy’s butt considerable discomfort.
Pain and disgrace… nothing new for this boy if you considered what he’d been through in the last two years. But something about *this* pain and *this* disgrace was infinitely more torturous and distressing than Scott had ever known. This pain was so much more personal… this disgrace so much more deserved. Time had stopped for the hapless boy, and he was trapped in his own personal hell of both mind and body. The punishment was bound to go on forever.
“please… please…”
Scott pleaded one last time with his tormentor, for what, he didn’t know. Warren did not listen.


(tbc)


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